Coaches is the head of the SHOFCO-Youth Soccer Program. He was born and raised in Kibera and never attended formal high school. He is a constant source of support for the youth who play on the teams he supervises. He has played a valuable role in expanding the SHOFCO-Youth Soccer Program, which has gone from 30 members to more than 350 in the six years he's been leading it.
Coaches is continuing to grow the program and is making an incredible impact on the lives of many adolescents in Kibera. The teams provide a safe space to learn, collaborate, and grow the self-confidence and skills the youth need in order to overcome the daily hardships of life in Kibera, building a life beyond poverty for themselves and their families.
Kennedy Odede founded Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) in 2004 with twenty cents—which he used to buy a soccer ball. SHOFCO began as a powerful youth-led movement. While SHOFCO started with the soccer team and a weekly support meeting, the youth program soon grew to run the departments that are still youth-led today: Public Health, Communications, Sports, Theatre, and Gender Empowerment. Members of the SHOFCO youth group run the community center, leading initiatives that involve thousands of residents.
The SHOFCO Youth Soccer Program includes teams for boys and girls in five separate age divisions: 17-18 years old, 15-16 years old, 13-14 years old, 10-12 years old, and under-10. These teams compete against other youth teams from Kibera and have won many championships in community competitions. In addition to its many successes on the field, the SHOFCO Youth Soccer Program consistently seeks to give back to the Kibera community. Community clean-ups and other service projects are completed weekly by SHOFCO Youth. Members of the Soccer Program are champions on and off the field.